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Wisconsin poised to become next Right to Work state, uses “Freedom to Work” meme beta tested in Michigan

With their state Senate debating so-called “Right to Work” legislation this week and their Assembly expected to take it up next week, Wisconsin is poised to become the latest Republican-controlled state to enact the anti-union law. In the weeks and months leading up to Michigan’s passage of right to work legislation, anti-union forces rebranded it as “Freedom to Work”. The term “Freedom to Work” is even used on our state government website.

As it turns out, as in so many other ways, Michigan was the testing ground for new corporatist and conservative efforts. The group Wisconsin Right to Work now has FreedomToWorkWI.com as the URL of its website.…

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As the Michigan Democratic Party convenes tomorrow stop blaming Lon Johnson for Democrat’s problems and blame who is really at fault: YOU!

Update:  The program I mention toward the end of this story was called “The Win Machine” and it was delayed for use but eventually went up and was successfully used by 2500 people, a significant number.  Also, and this did deserve a mention earlier today, but the miabsetee.com app/site was VERY successful and helped both many Democrats and Republicans register to vote.  Lon and his leadership team deserve lots of kudos for that piece of brilliance.That clarification was important to include.

Tomorrow Democrats from across the state will convene in downtown Detroit for their semi-annual convention. The spring convention will hold no surprises tomorrow.…

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When thinking about what Governor Rick Snyder said in the SOTS, actions speak MUCH louder than words

Ray Holman is the Legislative Liaison for UAW Local 6000 and, for those of you not familiar with this Local, they represent over 22,000 state of Michigan workers that cut a wide path. Their membership, according to their website, “represents workers in every Department in State of Michigan government. We are the nurses, teachers, doctors, probation officers, social workers and secretaries. We issue your driver license, answer your 911 calls, take care of Michigan’s elderly and provide assistance to Michigan’s most vulnerable citizens.”

Clearly, last night when Michigan Governor Rick Snyder delivered his long-winded, meandering State of the State address, the membership of UAW Local 6000 had reason to listen attentively.…

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New study finds that union members are happier, more satisfied people

A new study by professors from Baylor University and the University of Arkansas shows that, despite a 10% decline in union membership over the past 30 years, union members are happier and have greater satisfaction in their lives than non-union members. In a New York Times article titled “Want to Be Happy? Join a Union”, the two professors talk about their research:

[A] recent study may give some workers reason to reconsider [union membership]. For those who belong to a union, membership seems to bring a benefit that perhaps surpasses better wages or generous health insurance: higher life satisfaction.

The study authors, Patrick Flavin, an assistant professor at Baylor University, and Gregory Shufeldt, an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, used data from five different years between the early 1980s and mid-2000s, conducted in the United States, of the World Values Survey, a research project focusing on people’s beliefs.

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Michigan Nurses Association takes the lead on Ebola preparedness and protections

The MNA is working with Michigan health systems to protect nurses and patients, even as Governor Rick Snyder stalls on meeting about statewide standards.


On Wednesday, registered nurses from the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) held a press conference in front of Governor Rick Snyder’s office to discuss Michigan’s ability to safely care for an Ebola patient and demand a state standard for all Michigan hospitals. The Governor has so far refused to meet with MNA, Michigan’s largest organization representing frontline nurses.

“There’s no doubt we’ve had differences with this governor,” said MNA President John Armelagos, RN, at the press conference. “He said he’d contact us and he hasn’t.…

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Corporatist profiteer Richard Berman attacks AFT President Randi Weingarten in Detroit News “Op-Ed”

The Detroit News published an op-ed yesterday by a man so well-known for being a corporatist shill and profiteer that running it must have been a decision made by the News‘ advertising department. The piece was penned by a Richard Berman and attempts to lay the entire blame for the poor quality of Detroit Public schools at the feet of the teachers union and, more specifically, at the feet of Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

It hardly bears pointing out that Detroit schools didn’t get where they are because of greedy, self-interested teachers. You don’t go to work in Detroit public schools with the aim of becoming wealthy thanks to your cushy union job.…

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INTERVIEW: AFL-CIO’s Liz Shuler – Has the “American Dream” become the “Impossible Dream”?

The American Dream, according to dictionary.com, is defined as: the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American, or, a life of personal happiness and material comfort as traditionally sought by individuals in the U.S.

I might suggest that, based on generational differences, the definition of the American Dream might be different from generation to generation. Clearly, though, at least in the world I live in, one has to wonder if it’s time to redefine what the American Dream is. I’m not suggesting that the ideas set forth at dictionary.com are necessarily wrong. At the same time, however, I am concerned that the way it’s defined doesn’t exactly fit into today’s model of what our communities are, what we seek for them to be, and more importantly, how we get there.…

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Why the UAW matters and why it should matter to YOU!

In yesterday’s Detroit Free Press I read an article which I posted on Facebook.  There was an interesting story about the United Auto Workers (@UAW) growing their membership in the South. In the now infamous Volkswagen experiment, although it did not work, the failure was not as a result of the effort of the UAW and their organizers but more as a result of the efforts of those in politics who are threatened by what the UAW represents. And what do they represent? What they represent is freedom. What they represent is quality of life. What they represent is a minimum standard of living.…

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Administrative law judge rules that MEA must allow teachers to leave union at any time

After losing in court countless times, the corporatist front group Mackinac Center has finally won a round. This week, an administrative law judge ruled that the Michigan Education Association (MEA) teachers union must end its decades-old policy of having an “opt-out month” and allow its members to leave at any time. The judge’s ruling is essentially a recommendation to the the Michigan Employment Relations Council (MERC) which has the final say on the matter.

Members of the Michigan Education Association should be able to resign from the union at any time, and not just during the month of August, an administrative law judge ruled this week.…
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New website UnionsWork.us shows how unions help ALL workers and fight income inequality

It’s not going too far to say that American workers everywhere benefit on an ongoing basis from the hard work labor unions have done over the past several decades. I work at a non-union company that treats its employees very well. They compete for talent with other companies, including union shops, and this encourages them to do right by us, offering us good working conditions, an excellent benefit package, and a host of other things that result in employees working for them for decades.

That’s a direct result of the modern labor movement’s successes over the years in securing these things for their members.…

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